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In June 2017, online economist magazine Quartz, predicted that ‘as climate changes effects become harsher and more unexpected climate change could become even harder to study’.

Quartz was buffing up an incident where scientists from Canada, out researching the impact of sea ice on Hudson Bay became hindered by what is alleged to have been large chunks of ice from the Arctic blocking their way. Quartz called these ‘severe conditions’ the consequence of climate change.

As reported by Phys.org the scientists had to abandon their trip over safety concerns. Lead researchers on the expedition were adamant that the ice was from the Arctic, saying that they ‘were able to use the state-of-the-art equipment onboard the Amundsen to confirm that a significant proportion of the sea ice present originated’ from the there.

However, as NASA’s earth observatory pointed out, Hudson Bay is well known for pack ice. The bay is ‘shallow and surrounded by land, Hudson Bay freezes over completely in the winter but thaws for periods in the summer. Usually all of the sea ice is gone by August, and the bay begins to freeze over in October or November. In between, as the sea ice is breaking up, winds and currents cause flotillas of pack ice to cluster in certain parts of the bay.’

According to NASA, this is what was happening in June, 2017, the same month the Canadian climate change research team claimed to have had to stop their research due to ice coming from the “high Arctic”. NASA not only clearly contradicted Phys.org and Quartz, but also added that the ice was good for the wildlife, because ‘the rhythms of sea ice play a central role in the lives of the animals of Hudson Bay, particularly polar bears. When the bay is topped with ice, polar bears head out to hunt for seals and other prey. When the ice melts in the summer, the bears swim to shore, where they fast until sea ice returns.’

If this doesn’t raise red flags about the apocalyptic climate change narrative, along with the fear, logical fallacies and panic it breeds, look no further than two recent incidents where climate change researchers had to be rescued because, they too, were hindered by ice.

This July, Norwegian research Ice breaker, Crown Prince Haakon, had to change direction. According to the Captain, they ran into ‘ice thicker than expected.’ Multiple sites[i] reported the news, with only one offering a different explanation, citing ‘loose bolts in the shaft seal of the propeller housing as the cause.

The second incident occurred on September 3rd, when the MS Malmo had to be abandoned after getting stuck in ice. According to Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun, the Malmo’s current tour got ‘stuck in ice halfway between Norway and the North Pole. The ship was on an Arctic tour with a Climate Change documentary film team, and tourists, concerned with climate change and melting ice.’

This necessitated a rescue mission where all sixteen passengers (climate change “researchers”) were evacuated. Cruise Industry news also said that although it was ‘windy and snowing,  the captain and crew on board would remain on board, anticipating the ice to break up, from where they can then take the ship out into open water.’

These incidents aren’t isolated. In 2014, a Chinese Icebreaker ended up stuck in ice, while on a rescue mission to evacuate 52 people from a Russian tour ship also trapped in ice. The Telegraph’s Harriet Alexander wrote that ‘the Akademik Shokalskiy, became wedged in ice on Christmas Eve as it was heading towards Antarctica. In preparing to rescue the passengers, the Chinese owned, Snow Dragon got wedged in ice.’

The first victims of the apocalyptic climate change narrative are those who find themselves stranded at sea because they encounter ice, where they’ve been told ice should no longer be. Ignoring maritime precautions because of climate change hype and propaganda is putting lives at risk. This includes the unnecessarily risking the lives of those who are called in to respond to the consequences of such willful ignorance.

All of these examples raise red flags about the apocalyptic climate change narrative. Add to these examples the widespread misuse of the word ‘denier’ for anyone, like Scientist Peter Ridd (et.al) who question the prevailing scientific consensus turned dogma, and I’d say the real concern lies in how many people are refusing to look before they leap.

The Bolt Report illustrated this rising contemporary problem when they uncovered a 25 year old documentary that inadvertently challenges the walrus “apocalyptic climate change” claims in the Netflix, David Attenborough documentary Our Planet, which shows walruses falling off of cliffs. It boggles the mind, how so many people today leap before they look.

We need to look after our environment. I’m not disputing that. We have a responsibility to care for the creatures and earth entrusted to us. We have a duty of care to pass on healthy tradition, allowing that tradition to guide progress towards preservation, better technology and energy practices, but this must be done rationally, respectfully and with a filter that separates the sacred from absolute stupidity.

If those who hold to apocalyptic climate change tell us to trust their interpretation of the science, and yet, at the same time tell us to ignore the biological determinism which tells us plainly that there are only two genders, why should we take them seriously?

If advocates of the climate change narrative are using the same manipulative propaganda tools that were used in the push for gay “marriage”, and it’s denial of biological reproduction and physiological compatibility, why should we take them seriously?

If those who hold to this narrative are all too ready to dismiss questions and opposing viewpoints with ad hominem, straw men and abuse; where people who apply critical reasoning to the issues are hit with the accusation “denier”, a term that does immediate violence (every time it’s used) to the memory of those who suffered under the Nazi extermination of the Jews, why should we surrender and follow blindly?

If any contemporary holocaust “deniers” do exist, it’s the many who deny the biological reality of human life from conception to birth and beyond?!

Why should advocates of the apocalyptic climate change narrative (such as The Greens) be trusted when most of them deny that the duty of care for the environment first starts with care for those in the womb, the vulnerable, the aged, and the wounded? How can they be trusted with the kind of power they’re demanding, when cows grazing in state forests, or a farmer making a dam to improve land management, is made illegal, but a mother having a doctor kill and dismember her child in the womb is fair game? There’s an inescapable dissonance.

If fanatics fearing apocalyptic climate change are looking to label anything a holocaust, equal to The Holocaust of the 1930-40s, all they have to do is look in the bloodthirsty direction of industrial scale abortion, not the well-scripted, manipulative narrative of so-called anthropogenic apocalyptic climate change.


References:

[i] e.g.: Resett; Klassekampen; SOTT; Maritime Bulletin ; Climate Depot

Photo by Martin Robles on Unsplash

First published on Caldron Pool, 11th September, 2019

© Rod Lampard, 2019

Examine some older texts on philosophy, some Freudian psychology, even some theology, and you’ll come across the term proton-pseudos.

Proton-pseudos is described by the International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis as ‘the link between false premises and false conclusions.’ Sigmund Freud borrowed the term from Aristotle and applied to it to the category of hysteria.

In short, the Proton-pseudos is the ‘original error’. The proton-pseudos sits behind and within the lies we tell ourselves, or the lies we’ve been taught to believe about ourselves, society, politics, theology and a whole range of other areas. The proton-pseudos is the outworking of a negative self-belief caused by exposure to trauma, abuse, and agitation, manipulative or sociological propaganda.

The proton-pseudos is a false idea or belief based on limited or distorted knowledge. It’s an assumption lived out as fact, even though it’s a conclusion derived from a broken reality, one re-pieced together, without a relevant tangible factual basis. In other words, the proton-pseudos is a broken lens. It imagines oppression where no oppression exists, created by a negative self-belief long ago triggered by a genuine traumatic event.

The Freudian understanding of the proton-pseudos is exemplified by ‘Emma, who at the age of thirteen fled the laughter of the sales staff in a shop, consciously believing that they were laughing at her clothes. However, Emma’s reaction in the shop was triggered by a repressed first event from years before, a grocer who had sexually touched her when she was eight.’

French intellectual Jacques Ellul’s aggressive critique of helpful and harmful propaganda, from 1965, assists in providing a framework to explain how propaganda relates to the proton-pseudos as an ‘inner control over the individual by a social force.’ Manipulative, agitation and sociological propaganda preys on the collective social consciousness of a society in an ‘age of anxiety’. Fear is used to control, mobilize and permit.

The manipulative use of fear engineers a desensitizing of sensitivities and objections to an idea, in order to implement it.

As Ellul explains, ‘propaganda will permit what so far was prohibited, such as hatred…propaganda offers him an object of hatred for all propaganda is aimed at an enemy. This hatred is not shameful, evil hatred that must be hidden, but justified because propaganda has pointed out enemies that must be slain, transforming crime into a praiseworthy act.’

Propaganda utilizes proton-pseudos to create conformity. According to Ellul this conformity is the consequence of integration propaganda – political reeducation. This means that any ‘statement whatever, no matter how stupid, any “tall tale” will be believed once it enters into the current of hatred’ perpetuated by the prevailing proton-pseudos; the false doctrine, half-truth, outright harmful or blasphemous lie or deception. The collective social consciousness of society can then be controlled through ‘key words of magical import, which are believed without question.’

The proton-pseudos becomes authoritative through an ongoing maintenance of propaganda. Questioning of the proton-pseudos is viewed as irrational. Even though the proton-pseudos is, itself an irrational conclusion held captive by the ‘original error’.

To borrow further from Jacques Ellul, propaganda instills in the person held captive to the proton-pseudos ‘a system of opinions and tendencies which may not be subjected to criticism…the individual has received irrational certainties from propaganda and feels personally attacked when these certainties are attacked’.

Agitation, manipulative and sociological propaganda reinforces the proton-pseudos by way of affirming its grip on the person held captive by it.

Consequently, ‘ironically, the man or woman who has been successfully subjected to a vigorous propaganda will declare that all new ideas are propaganda.’

This comes back to Freud’s story of Emma.  The proton-pseudos sees oppression where there is none. It confuses a past event with current circumstances, magnifying fear and stopping Emma from distinguishing fiction from real thing. Emma’s negative self-belief affects her interpretation of the intentions of the people who surrounded her in the shop. There may have been good reasons for her to be suspicious and feel uncomfortable, but Emma’s consciousness was governed by a lie based on past abuse; the proton-pseudos which she believes and projects onto others, despite her current context clearly saying otherwise.

Ellul and Freud don’t just give us legitimate reasons for a constructive self-critique, they provide a diagnosis for the current malady affecting the socio-political make-up of Western Civilization.

One example is the proton-pseudos which dominates the Left. The proton-pseudos at work here imagines Nazis in every opponent, or behind every politician or journalist not Left of centre.

There’s no doubt that Nazism is evil, but like Freud’s story of Emma, context matters.

As Dennis Prager recently said, “fighting Nazis in World War two makes you a hero. Fighting Nazis today, in the United States, doesn’t”. Why? Because today’s Nazis are largely phantoms created by the Left. Imagined into existence, but based on an historical event, in order to promote fear, take control and justify an inability (or worse, lack of desire) to engage in reasoned debate. The proton-pseudos provoked by propagandist slogans permits all sorts of viciousness and violence against their political opponents.

Take as examples the propagandists perpetuating the proton-pseudos. They create an oppressor, where one doesn’t exist, with terms such as, toxic masculinity, heteronormativity, cultural appropriation, white privilege, islamophobia, Jesus was a socialist, homophobia and mansplaining, unborn babies are a bunch of cells/a parasite, all men are dogs, and all white people are racist, et.al.

All of these and others, as asinine as “love is love”, are designed to incite ‘conditioned reflexes’ (Elull). To ensnare, trap and control the argument through an appeal of the social consciousness of the West which has long embraced the truth of love your neighbor as you love yourself, and long since rejected the evils of racism/fascism.

Anyone who questions the slogan, questions the propaganda, threatening the power of the propagandist and their ability to use the proton-pseudos to feed their own self-interest.

Ellul and Freud share a strong relevance to the current practice in psychology called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The practice of identifying the proton-pseudos, of replacing lies with truth.

They join with Paul of Tarsus in challenging us to discern between the lies we’re told, the lies we tell ourselves and the truth.

For the Christian, and those who heed Paul’s instruction, this will mean wholeheartedly owning the theological truth that ‘the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds; destroying arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, ESV)

Beware the auctioneers: outsmart the propagandists. Challenge the proton-pseudos both without and from within. Be a factivist, a liberator, one who see the lies for what they are and where they originate, and then replaces them with the truth.

As Paul teaches: ‘don’t be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind’ , not the emptying of it. (Romans 12:2)


References:

Ellul, J. 1965 Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, Vintage Press (pp.87 & 152)

Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

First published on Caldron Pool, 5th September, 2019

©Rod Lampard, 2019

In a speech on Tuesday night, One Nation MP, Mark Latham, joined a growing chorus of opposition voicing their concerns over the poor process applied to the recent NSW abortion bill. Latham joins Liberal MP Natasha Maclaren-Jones, the National Party’s, Barnaby Joyce and Dr. David Gillespie, in criticising the rushed bill, deceptively called ‘The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill’.

The abortion bill passed the lower house (legislative assembly) by 59 to 31 on August 9. The MP responsible for introducing the bill was “Independent” member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, whose candidacy (for context) was backed by Leftist golden girl, and Lord Mayor of Sydney City, Clover Moore.

Criticism of the nature of the abortion bill has been growing since its surprise introduction to the NSW Parliament.  Coinciding with this is criticism of how the bill was introduced, handled and pushed through the assembly, with very little time given for debate, and consultation with the public.

In an apparent response to growing opposition against the bill, including large passionate pro-life, non-violent protests, Andrew Clennell from the Australian said on Wednesday that NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, ‘had backed down on pushing the abortion bill through the states upper house this week.’

Clennell also outlined Mark Latham’s ‘stunning attack on the Premier’.

The One Nation MP, ‘accused Berejiklian of betraying the parliament and the people of NSW, labeling her dictatorial, and claimed she had allowed MPs from all parties to work together on the legislation in an erosion of the two party system’.

Latham called the alleged clandestine group, ‘a cross party cabal of left-wing MPs, who had been meeting in secret for months, plotting to hijack the parliament and ram’ the bill through both lower and upper houses.’

Talking with Paul Murray and Rita Panahi, Latham unpacked reasons for his attack on the Premier’s betrayal and lack of leadership, stating,

‘I’m heavily critical of the process because it’s all wrong and I’m a great believer in good lawmaking that relies on good process…The tragedy of this is that the upper house is wiped of its proper functions as a house of review. We could have had a six-week committee; instead we got one for five minutes. Proponents of the bill, (who met in secret, didn’t invite comment from the public, and didn’t involve the full range of experts) have denied themselves two very important qualities on a sensitive and divisive issue like this, and that’s credibility and legitimacy. These people look sneaky, these people look dictatorial. They just want to ram it through because they have none of the argument, but some of the numbers; the Premier has facilitated this bad process.’

Latham then (rightly) said his protest of the process, is legitimized by how advocates of the bill were now stumbling over whether or not they should support a gender-selection amendment.

Liberal Party MP, Tanya Davies, member for Mulgoa, sparked concern about the contents of the abortion bill when she ‘sought to include an amendment stating that terminations not “be used for gender selection”. Although, Davies’ amendment ‘was rejected because it was [deemed] unnecessary and unworkable,’ the Premier and opposition leader have signaled support for a gender-selection ban.

However, as Michael McGowan of The Guardian said, overall, ‘backers of the bill are unlikely to support one’. (The Guardian)

One of the reasons for this is that the gender-selection amendment is viewed as a right-wing ploy to derail the legitimacy of the bill. This is despite the serious lack of consultation with the public and the inadequate handling of procedure, which has already destabilized the bill, via the secretive, unprofessional and frantic way it’s being pushed through parliament.

Other notable outspoken critics of both the bill and its contents included Federal Member for Lyne, Dr. David Gillespie.

Gillespie went against his state LNP colleague Leslie Williams (a co-sponsor of the abortion bill), saying, ‘the legislation is unnecessary because abortion was “decriminalized in 1971 and it is not a crime if you have a lawful abortion (the rare case when a pregnancy is deemed life threatening) in NSW”.

As reported by the Wauchope Gazette, ‘Dr Gillespie, who previously worked as the director of physician training at Port Macquarie Base Hospital’, stated,

“You are dealing with abortion of a human being that has got a separate circulation and nervous system; all those things make up a human being. A child in the womb is another human being and deserves protection. A child doesn’t miraculously become a human being once it pops out at delivery.”

Gillespie also criticized the rushed nature of the bill, saying ‘if the Government wanted to take the community with them they should have at least more than five days to debate it…” Given that ‘a hastily formed enquiry into the bill after community backlash received 13,000 submissions in one day, causing the state parliaments web portal to temporarily crash.’

None of these criticisms are easily dismissed. Gladys Berejiklian’s premiership is slowly reflecting that of William Golding’s character, Ralph in Lord of the Flies. Jack has taken over and the whim of the bureaucratic caste has now become law.

Of course, Gladys Berejiklian, as Premier has the prerogative. Her next move, after delaying the deceptively named, ‘Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill’, should be to stand up and ditch the bill, instead of applauding those all too eager to ditch babies.


First published on Caldron Pool, 27th August 2019.

Photo credit: Creative commons.

©Rod Lampard, 2019

Here’s 30 minutes well spent. Researcher for the Australian Christian Lobby, Dr. Elisabeth Taylor, dazzles in her presentation on two vacuous ideologies seeking, not just to influence Western society, but rip up its biblical Christian foundations, and impose new cultural laws on it. Such as the eradication of what theorists within the LGBT religion label “heteronormativity”. The assumption being that heteronormativity is oppressive to the LGBT community. Ergo, all out war, short of physical violence, must be made against it.

The presentation clarifies, and provides information about transgenderism. Taylor digs deep, discussing the theory’s origins and why it’s necessary to push back against it. In doing so, understanding the how and what of connecting factors, such as post-structuralism – (the denial of objective reality), are of paramount importance. When talking to people who have rejected objective morality, it pays to understand their concept of reality, whether they say they have one or not. Hence the value found in the content of her presentation.


 

With all the noise surrounding Donald Trump’s alleged request to purchase Greenland, you’d be right to think that this tale was another political manoeuvre from Trump’s enemies to discredit his Presidency and/or sanity.

Confirmation this weekend that the Trump administration had explored the idea of buying Greenland from Denmark, set social media and the M.S.M ablaze.

Time, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, CNN and The Guardian, all jumped on the reaction from Denmark’s Prime Minister, parading the word “absurd” around as though Trump’s idea was his own.

Even Sky News got in on the action, headlining a piece with the word ‘push’ to describe the Trump administration’s enquiry.

Weaving its own malicious tale of Trump’s “madness”, Vice trumped them all by highlighting remarks from Soren Espersen, foreign affairs spokesman for the populist Danish People’s Party, who said, “If he [Trump] is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof that he has gone mad…”[i]

Twitter users were also indicative of the widespread ignorance of history:

To their credit CNN and The Guardian came out as the most balanced. Paul LeBlanc of CNN and Martin Pengelly of The Guardian were the only journalists careful enough to take to time to acknowledge the fact that the idea of buying Greenland, was first posited by Democrat President, Harry S. Truman in 1946, who offered to pay Denmark $100 million (in gold) in exchange for Greenland because of its strategic value. Truman ended up securing a military base, nothing more. [ii]

Truman, not Trump was the first to come up with the idea. Trump may not be letting go of Truman’s proposal to buy Greenland because of its strategic value to the United States, but any suggestion that this new proposal from an American administration, is an unveiling of Trump as a colonial imperialist, fascist, is, in the light of the fact that the idea originated with Truman, off-the-wall crazy.

In order to justify such accusations, accusers would have to link Trump to Truman, and build a narrative of conspiracy only believed by the gullible.

As equally “batty”, any suggestion that buying Greenland is yet more “evidence” of the alleged imbalance in Trump’s psychological disposition is pure fiction.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Trump being starry-eyed by the prospect of buying Greenland, is the real estate professional in him, not some latent Hitlerian tendencies, as is alleged by every anti-Trump personality looking to justify their proton-pseudos complex.


References:

[i] Marcin, T. 2019. Denmark to Trump: Seriously, Greenland Isn’t for Sale,  Vice News

[ii] Koning Beals, R. 2019. It’s not the first time U.S. has tried to buy Greenland  MarketWatch

©Rod Lampard, 2019

 

Covington student, Nicholas Sandermann’s $250 million defamation case against The Washington Post was dismissed late last month, after a federal judge ruled that the Washington Post hadn’t slandered Sandermann in its reporting of the infamous, so-called “standoff” between himself and Native American, Nathan Phillips on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Saurabh Sharma of the Dailycaller said, the ‘judge threw out the case’ saying that The Washtington Post didn’t defame the Covington students, but were irresponsible with their use of ‘’loose, figurative,’’ and ‘’rhetorcial hyperbole”. [i]

This is despite The Washington Post, along with some Twitter users and others within the mainstream media, using short viral video clips of the event, to portray the MAGA hat wearing school kids as racists.

Rollingstone, while acknowledging that the incident seemed to have been provoked by members of the Black Israelite movement, were also quick to draw the racist narrative around the Covington School students, stating, ‘the video is a disturbing and eerie echo of angry white mobs yelling at Black Americans for protesting Jim Crow-era discrimination.’ [ii]

While Buzzfeed managed to steer around defaming the students, it’s obvious that Buzzfeed reporters shared similar conclusions. By using viral video clips from the event, they upheld the presumption of guilt, by inferring that racist claims made against the Catholic students we legitimate.

The initial Buzzfeed article made specific mention of the student’s ethnicity, pointing out that ‘nearly all were white and wearing pro-Trump gear, chanting at and mocking Native American, Nation Phillips on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.’[iii]

Buzzfeed also appear to have supported interpretations drawn from one of the videos of the students, which claimed that Sandermann was ‘smirking’ in a “racist way” at Phillips, who was branded a peacemaker during the incident. Like many in the mainstream media, this was apparently enough proof for Buzzfeed to spread the newspeak narrative of white privilege, hate, oppression and racism: the Covington students were white, Christian, and Trump supporters, ergo they must also be racists.

Buzzfeed updated their original piece with a link to a video which shows ‘more context’, admitting that the incident ‘was more confusing than the viral clips made it seem’. Buzzfeed also reported that ‘teen’s family will be appealing the decision to dismiss the case, with one of the family’s lawyers saying, “the law must protect innocent minors targeted by journalists publishing click bait sensationalized news.”

The Washington Post, like many of the Left’s leaders on Twitter, did the equivalent of whipping the crowd up into a frenzy, handing them a lynch rope, then when the facts came to light, quietly slipped out the back door. Later to be dismissed from having to take any responsibility because of an appeal to freedom of speech, and literary license.

The case dismissal is good news for The Washington Post. The outcome could also be viewed as good news for the future of freedom of speech.

However, it’s doubtful that the reasons for this “win”, based on an appeal to first amendments rights and literary license, will be allowed as a defense for Pastors and Christian writers when producing literature that criticizes sin from a Biblically Christian perspective.

Especially when their publications involve proclaiming The Gospel in its unique redemptive critique of human sin such as greed, adultery, homosexuality, pride, envy, slander, idolatry – a critique now largely rejected and found “hateful” and “harmful” by the Left, because of its no questions asked embrace of the LGBT religion, Islamism and related regressive, progressive ideologies.


References:

[i] Sharma, S. 2019.  The Washington Post Won Its Case Against The Covington Catholic Kids, But A Federal Judge Had Some Choice Words For The Outlet, Daily Caller, 12th August, 2019

[ii] Wade, P. 2019. Judge Dismisses Covington Student’s Lawsuit Against ‘Washington Post’ RollingStone, 27th July, 2019

[iii] Reinstein, J. & Baer, S.K. 2019.  The MAGA Hat–Wearing Teens Who Taunted A Native American Elder Could Be Expelled Buzzfeed, 19th January, 2019.

Photo by Irina Vinichenko on Unsplash

First published on Caldron Pool, 16th August 2019

©Rod Lampard, 2019

In her 1981 magnus opus, ‘Public Man, Private Woman’, American political scientist and Lutheran, Jean Bethke Elshtain presented a painstaking analysis of feminism.

Her work as a political theorist is one of the best all rounded academic introductions to the origins and branches of feminism, which comes from within the feminist movement.

Elshtain is best described as a classical feminist. Although she accepts certain criticisms made by feminists, Elshtain is honest about the fact that feminism can, and does go too far. Her chief aim was to present the ideological nuances and obvious contrasts of each branch of feminism.

What makes ‘Public Man, Private Woman’ unique is how her experiences within the feminist movement, particularly radical feminism, allow her a high degree of objectivity.

In the late 1960s, Elshtain and a friend were confronted by the exclusionist ideology of feminist supremacism.

They both linked up with a feminist group, only to find themselves silenced because they raised genuine questions about the prevalent anti-familial force within feminism. According to Elshtain, they attended the group, looking for a community who could help them embrace both the healthier side of early feminist critique and motherhood. However, they soon found out that for some within the feminist movement, there was no reconciling of the two. In the middle of her friend’s turn to speak, the group’s facilitator ‘abruptly and publicly’ cut off their discussion declaring, “We will have not diaper talk here. We’re here to talk about women’s liberation”.

Elshtain recalled, ‘my friend and I left, for we could not treat our children as abstractions, as nuisances to be overcome, or as evidence of our “sad capitulation” to the terms of patriarchy.’

Alarmed by her confrontation with female supremacist exclusivism, Elshtain not only saw the dangers it presented to those outside the feminist movement, but how female supremacist ideology threatens legitimate feminist criticisms about what defines a woman, and how women define themselves in the traditionally male dominant public space.

Other than a general analysis of the state of feminism in 1980-81, Elshtain was also preoccupied with a personal quest, seeking to answer the nagging question about whether feminism could be reconciled with motherhood. And if so, what kind of worldview would this look like?

Her conclusion rejects Marxist feminism, Liberal Feminism and Radical feminism, and instead embraces a politics of compassion which works towards reconstructing a woman’s place in public and private, by ‘truth-seeking’, not ‘truth-construction’.

Elshtain describes a ‘politics of compassion’ as a ‘robust opposition to despair and cynicism’, noting it as being a ‘recognition [on the part of feminists] that no good can come from the widespread dehumanization and destruction of others.’ This would help protect legitimate parts of feminist criticisms, because a politics of compassion recognizes that feminism is undermined by a radical feminist supremacism which feeds on ‘the enchanting lures of resentment and the poisonous destruction of rage.’

Abortion isn’t a key concern for Elshtain. However, her conclusions and personal experience are relevant to the abortion debate.

Elshtain agrees that reproduction doesn’t define women. However, feminism shouldn’t reject the stability of the familial unit. It should be mature and flexible enough to embrace the unique-to-woman, gift of reproduction and maternalism. Motherhood shouldn’t be so easily thrown out by the feminist critique. This is because motherhood is the quintessential definition of an empowered, liberated woman. Strength and servant leadership are a core elements of being a mother. The woman capable of choosing to look, not just to their own needs, but also to the needs of others is not only liberated, but engages in the act of liberating others.

What Elshtain offers is clarity. Her criticism of the feminist crowd, which was ironically awakened by the feminist crowd’s rejection of her (as a patriarchal cliché, because she was married and had children) gives us a vantage point from which we can join with her and say,

‘the presumption that some universally true, ubiquitous, and pervasive misogynistic urge explains everything is simplistic and wrong.’ (p.xv)

When it comes to abortion and the feminist death grip on it, there will be disagreement, but that disagreement doesn’t have to be destructive. There is another way around the ‘radical and destructive social surgery’ pushed by those who demand uniformity in an ideological alignment with abortion and its accompanying progressive platform.

Elshtain’s inherent “no” to this kind of forced allegiance, especially to supremacist ideology is something to applaud. Her “no” is spoken from under the shadow of remembrance, as she recalls the blood that followed the ‘Nazis and Stalinists, the most destructive instances so far of this sort.’

Noting,

‘if everything every basis of human existence, every rule and prohibition not excluding  the incest taboo, is “up for grabs,” those who unscrupulously grab will inherit the earth and we will no longer have  the earth as out inheritance…Each successive generation must respect some moral necessities, must have some “taken for granted,” rules without which even the minimal aspects of a human existence that propelled our prehistoric ancestors to place flowers on the graves of their beloved, will be jeopardized.’

This supremacist ideology is seen in abortion advocates adoption of Simone de Beauvoir’s incongruent use of the term ‘parasite’ in reference to both women and the fetus (The Second Sex).

Supremacist ideology is prevalent in the inherent historical parallels between the Nazi doctrine of “life unworthy of life” and deceptive new term for abortion, “reproductive healthcare”. Abortion is an outworking of radical feminist supremacism. The “choice” argument underpins this because it advocates the totalitarian supremacy of a mother over against the life of her unborn child and the choice of his or her father.

How is a woman living out her liberation, if she’s coerced to kill her unborn child because of pressure from a pro-abortion society, state and peers, in the name of what they deceptively call freedom?

How is a woman living our her liberation if all the information necessary to make the best “choice” possible is hidden from her by her pro-abortion society, state, and peers– “for her own good”?

It would seem that the liberated woman, under the shadow of pro-abortion and the supremacist ideology of Marxist, liberal and radical feminism, is not so liberated after all.

We cannot miss this point. We cannot afford to overlook the fact that pro-abortion, and even pro-euthanasia laws, remove protections for the citizen against a tyrannical state. They remove protections for citizens from supremacist ideology.

Anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia laws are restraints that don’t just apply to one individual having absolute power over another; they hold back the overreach of despotic, crony corporations and these laws restrain the creation of authoritarian governments. These are necessary limitations which protect freedom, rather than being a denial of it.

So it is that we should, and can legitimately stand with Jean Bethke Elshtain and those like her, such as the brilliant Dr. Mildred Jefferson, and say:

“Today it is the unborn child; tomorrow it is likely to be the elderly or those who are incurably ill. Who knows but that a little later it may be anyone who has political or moral views that do not fit into the distorted new order?[i]…I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned, have the right to live [ii]…I say “no” and I am not willing to give up the role of doctor as healer to become the new social executioner…If the destruction of life is permissible for social and economic reasons, why not for political reasons? [iii]


References (not otherwise linked):

Elshtain, J. 1981, ‘Public Man, Private Woman: Women in Social & Political Thought’ Princeton University Press

Photo by Cassidy Rowell on Unsplash

First published on Caldron Pool, 13th August, 2019

©Rod Lampard, 2019